If you are a baking enthusiast, you have probably come across a recipe with instructions to put your dough in a tart pan before placing it in the oven. You may only be conversant with the few baking pans you use to make your pastry if you are a beginner, right? Therefore, you may be wondering what a tart pan is.
A tart pan is a flat-based, shallow pan with grooved sides used in baking. Due to its unique fluted sides, the pan is usually used to make pies, tarts, and quiches. Although the conventional tart pan has a round shape, you may get a customized shape such as a heart shape to meet your baking needs.
This article covers tart pans, including how they differ from other pans, what they bake, and how they are used. We will also explore what features to look for in a tart pan if you want to buy one.
How Tart Pans Differ From Other Pans
Although tart pans may look similar to other baking pans like pie pans, they have considerable shape differences that suit their uses. The distinguishing feature of tarn pans is their fluted edge. Other pans typically sport straight edges.
Similarly, while pie pans have a wide rim and an angled edge to cater to serving, tart pans have straight edges with an equal height from top to bottom. However, to ease serving, most tart pans have a detachable base to make it easy to remove pastry from the pan. They also have thinner edges than conventional pans since they require less heat to bake.
The differences in tart pans’ designs make them convenient for their uses.
What Can You Bake in a Tart Pan?
You can bake tarts, pies, and quiches in a tart pan. The unique features of the tart pan make it a specialized pan with limited baking options. The pan’s straight edges help you achieve a crispy crust, while the removable bottom eases the serving.
However, if you are an adventurous baker, your tart pan baking options can be limitless. The grooved edges can give any pastry a unique and fabulous finish as it comes out appealing and upgraded. So, the next time you’re making brownies, why not throw them in a tart pan? Don’t be afraid to mix things up.
Nonetheless, if you are baking something with a liquid filling, avoid using tart pans with detachable bottoms; a one-piece tart pan will do the trick.
How To Use a Tart Pan
Using a tart pan to bake various pastries can be difficult for beginners unfamiliar with its features. However, using tart pans is as easy as pie. Here are some steps to guide you through the process when baking pastry on a tart pan:
- Prep the tart pan. Prepare the tart pan for baking by greasing its base and sides to ensure your dish does not stick to the pan. However, most tart pans are coated with a non-stick finish to ensure easy unmolding when serving.
- Fit your dough into the pan with the tart pan’s bottom intact. Gently place the dough into the pan and spread it evenly by firmly pressing against it using your fingers or any kitchenware with a flat surface. Remember to poke holes in the dough before placing it into the oven to ensure proper heat conduction as it bakes.
- Remove your pastry from the tart pan through the detachable bottom. Place the pan on top of a smaller object such as a container and slowly pull down the pan’s grooved edge leaving you with the metal base with the pastry on top. If you are using a one-piece tart pan, you can use a fork to gently lift the pastry from the sides and serve it on a platter.
Buying the Right Tart Pan
After reading this article, you will probably add a tart pan to your kitchen collection. If that is the case, there are many factors to consider when choosing the appropriate tarn pan that meets your baking needs. Here are a few factors and features to consider when buying a tart pan to ensure its quality:
- A removable bottom. Although most tart pans have this feature, others do not. Tart pans with detachable bottoms have various advantages, such as easing the retrieval of your pastry after baking and keeping the baked treat’s shape. Be sure to look out for this feature when purchasing your tart pan.
- Non-stick surface. One of the most annoying experiences is having your treats stuck to the pan after baking. While you can prevent this by greasing your pan before placing it in the oven, a non-stick pan does the trick. The feature prevents dough from sticking to the pan’s lining, making it essential for every baker.
- Size. Tart pans come in various sizes, ranging from small to large. When purchasing a tart pan, it is essential to choose the right size depending on its purpose. If you intend to bake a pie or tart for a group of people, you should probably go for the larger size; small sizes are appropriate for personal use.
- Material. Selecting a suitable material when purchasing a tart pan is integral in determining its durability. Buying a pan made from the wrong material can be highly inconveniencing and expensive as you may be forced to buy another one sooner. Therefore, select durable materials such as aluminum and steel when picking a tart pan.
- Grooved edges. Although it is not a necessity, baking your tarts in a pan with grooved edges gives them a natural look and adds to their appeal. However, it all comes down to your preference. Pick a tart pan with grooved edges if you’d like to make your treats look more appealing. If not, go for what best suits you.
Tart pans are a great addition to a kitchen and an essential tool for every baking enthusiast. The pans boast unique features that enhance their usefulness and distinguish them from ordinary baking and pie pots. Still, before purchasing a tart pan, it is essential to ensure it has certain prescribed features that will enable it to provide the best baking experience.